Home / 2008 History

2008 History

December 30, 2008

Collateral Damage

It occurs to me that the damage from Wall Street started years ago, when profitable companies which made real money the old fashioned way were being compared to companies which we have recently learned were mostly fairy dust, flying unicorns, and lies.

One painful example was the San Jose Mercury News, which was sold because the management was profitably providing a great paper, but the profits were not up to Wall Streets standards. (We still get the Merc, but it's just not the great paper it once was.)

I guess I'm particularly bitter about this because we're going to need an informed public to make the hard decisions ahead, and while blogs provide great commentary, it's still mostly the newspapers that provide the raw reporting.

I wonder how many other great companies have been damaged by the zeal of Wall Street to get them to live up to false metrics.

Tue, 30 Dec 2008 22:55:09 PST - Link

It's That Time Of Year...

You might need a little cheering up, so it's time for Dave Barry's Year In Review

Tue, 30 Dec 2008 08:32:51 PST - Link

December 29, 2008

Yeah, I Still Have Hope...

Barak Obama: Hope

I still have hope, but the election is over so I'm going to let the Obama image flow with the page.

I can tell you that this is going to be the longest 21 days, 20 hours, 16 minutes of my life.

Mon, 29 Dec 2008 13:47:52 PST - Link

Would You Like Digital Spam With That?

As seen in my inbox:

Want to Run and Manage Your Very Own Digital Website?

Sorry, I've already got one, but I am interested in an analog website, preferably with vacuum tube technology.

Mon, 29 Dec 2008 13:40:52 PST - Link

Forecast for 2009

Those depletions are very serious. For instance, Mexico's super-giant Cantarell oil field, the second-largest ever discovered after Saudi Arabia's Ghawar field, has shown a 30 percent depletion rate in the past year alone. (Pemex had forecast a 15 percent rate entering the year.) Cantarell provides over 60 percent of Mexico's total production, and Mexico is America's third largest source of imports — just after Saudi Arabia (#2) and Canada (#1). Obviously, Mexico soon will lose its ability to export oil, and as that occurs, America is going to feel more than pinch — more like a two-by-four upside the head. In short, remorseless depletion is underway and we are less likely now than even a year ago, to make up for it.

Forecast for 2009 by James Howard Kunstler

This is a very hard read, mostly because Kunstler is making some pretty tough calls for the next few months, and his predictions have been too accurate of late.

Mon, 29 Dec 2008 08:25:20 PST - Link

December 28, 2008

New House, Dead Tree

Dead Tree

Ah, the joys of home ownership. We got back into town to find that one of our Birches had fallen. Three hours with loppers and an electric chainsaw cleared the driveway, but still, I've had better Christmas gifts. The good news is that there was minor damage to the gutter, but otherwise no damage to the house of fence or to a passer-by.

Sun, 28 Dec 2008 09:38:32 PST - Link

December 20, 2008

Saturday Dragon Blogging


Dragon in Nan Lian Garden, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Sat, 20 Dec 2008 10:25:03 PST - Link

December 16, 2008

Twitter-like Communications

Why is it every time in the last twenty years I've been doing computer network wiring in the house, I hear the Eagles' Desperado playing in my head?

Tue, 16 Dec 2008 21:58:01 PST - Link

December 14, 2008

Must. Read.

The cut in the tax rate on capital gains contributed to the crisis in another way. It was a decision that turned on values: those who speculated (read: gambled) and won were taxed more lightly than wage earners who simply worked hard.

Joseph E. Stiglitz in Vanity Fair

Sun, 14 Dec 2008 14:09:19 PST - Link

December 13, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging - Great Wall Edition

Great Wall Cats

Since I haven't unpacked the camera yet, here are a couple of unidentified cats living in the village at Mutianyu China just below the great wall.

Sat, 13 Dec 2008 09:15:49 PST - Link

December 10, 2008


It takes a really time to pack and unpack a house. A Really Long Time.

DSL still down. I don't think AT&T has ever moved a DSL account before. Don't they understand there is cat blogging to be done?

On Monday, our first night in the new house, Miko, our skittish kiddish, was out and exploring. Tory the brave and bold adventure cat hid under the bed, and T-Chan, the meek, burrowed into the pillows to hide. They are staring to get more comfortable now.

Wed, 10 Dec 2008 14:00:21 PST - Link

December 3, 2008

It's going to be a very crazy holiday season.

We just got back from two weeks of Vacation in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Seoul, but vacation blogging may have to wait a bit:

I packed up my office at work just before we left, and will be unpacking in the new building today.

We got the keys to our new house last night. Yes, we bought a house in the middle of this economic mess, then went on vacation. The vacation had been planned for 10 months — we used credit card miles to get the tickets — and I've been saving vacation time for it so I've not had any time off this year. I'm feeling invigorated, if somewhat jet-lagged.

The new house was out of the blue. We were taking a walk a few weeks back, and dropped into an open house. The floor plan was ideal for us: separate bathrooms near the master bedroom, one story, wood floors, family room in the back, quiet and private back yard, spare bathroom we can allocate to the cats, bonus room for storage, ... It's pretty much our ideal retirement home.

We're beginning to move stuff this weekend. Once we're out, we've got to get our old place ready to sell in January.

I was hoping that as the dark clouds of the Bush era lifted, I'd find more time to blog, but I've now got lots of other things to do...

Wed, 03 Dec 2008 08:00:02 PST - Link

December 2, 2008

That's A Pretty Great Wall

Great Wall

More images to come, of Beijing, Hong Kong, and Seoul.

Tue, 02 Dec 2008 12:35:25 PST - Link

November 27, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Tory James - Sleeping

Tory James - Sleeping

Woah, that's a lot of cat bloggings in a row. Maybe it's just post-election relief. I promise to have some thing to blog about other than the boys next week.

Thu, 27 Nov 2008 15:34:38 PST - Link

November 21, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Miko and T-Chan

Miko and T-Chan

Fri, 21 Nov 2008 04:14:43 PST - Link

November 16, 2008

Sunday Cat Blogging

Tory James


Sun, 16 Nov 2008 09:05:11 PST - Link

November 14, 2008

The End

What he underestimated was the total unabashed complicity of the upper class of American capitalism. For instance, he knew that the big Wall Street investment banks took huge piles of loans that in and of themselves might be rated BBB, threw them into a trust, carved the trust into tranches, and wound up with 60 percent of the new total being rated AAA.

The End (of Wall Streets Boom) by Michael Lewis

Simply the best explanation I've seen on what really happened on Wall Street.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 08:58:31 PST - Link

November 12, 2008

The Center Left Nation

But do a little analysis. "Moderate" isn't a place holder, as voters who describe themselves that way have attitudes on the issues of the day. And when you look at attitudes, rather than addition, there is no question: Conservatives have had their day. This is a center-left, not a center-right nation.

Robert L. Borosage — Huffington Post

Wed, 12 Nov 2008 08:46:23 PST - Link

November 7, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

T-Chan cleaning


Fri, 07 Nov 2008 08:33:49 PST - Link

November 4, 2008

Yes. We. Did.

My cheeks hurt from smiling, and I'm having trouble seeing though the tears.

That's one small step into the promised land, one giant leap toward a more perfect union.

Tue, 04 Nov 2008 20:03:26 PST - Link

October 31, 2008

Halloween Cat Blogging


Cousin Oberon getting in the mood for the day. — Photo by JD

Fri, 31 Oct 2008 08:06:41 PDT - Link

October 29, 2008

And now, for something completely nice...

After a minute or two of this a huge man (6'5", 300 lbs easy) wearing a Dale Earnhardt jacket and Bengals cap left the voting line, came up to us and introduced himself as Mike. He told us he had overheard our conversation and asked if the ladies would like to borrow his jacket to put over their t-shirts so they could go in and vote. The ladies quickly agreed. As long as I live I will never forget the image of these 80-plus-year-old Jewish ladies walking into the polling location wearing a huge Dale Earnhardt racing jacket that came over their hands and down to their knees!

The Magnes Zionist

Go read the rest. It'll make your day.

Wed, 29 Oct 2008 08:37:38 PDT - Link

October 24, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging


Miko: What did I think of last week? BLEAH! That's what I think of last week.

Fri, 24 Oct 2008 09:04:32 PDT - Link

Better News

Princeton Election Consortium 2008 10 01

Here's this morning's Princeton Election Consortium update.

It looks like a lock for Obama, but we Democrats must still get out and vote. There are important races down ballot, and some very critical propositions.

If you live in California, VOTE NO on PROP 8.

Fri, 24 Oct 2008 09:04:32 PDT - Link

October 17, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging



Update: Ooops. Sorry Miko, that was a repeat.

Here's an unidentified sleepy street kitteh from Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France. — Photo by SS

Fri, 17 Oct 2008 08:10:35 PDT - Link

October 16, 2008

Oh. Eww.

No, John. That's not going to get you any more votes.

Thu, 16 Oct 2008 08:52:51 PDT - Link

October 13, 2008

Paul Krugman Wins The Nobel Prize For Economics

I've been quoting Krugman for years, and I've tried (unsuccessfully) to emulate his clear, declarative writing style in my Blog. Today I don't really feel too bad about falling short in that area - I've been trying to keep up with a Nobel Prize winner. Here's an example from September 11, 2003:

BUZZFLASH: As a professor, if you were giving a lecture and you had to define the economic policy of the Bush administration, could you get your arms around it? How would you define it?

KRUGMAN: There is no economic policy. That's really important to say. The general modus operandi of the Bushies is that they don't make policies to deal with problems. They use problems to justify things they wanted to do anyway. So there is no policy to deal with the lack of jobs. There really isn't even a policy to deal with terrorism. It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do.

Now if you ask what do the people who keep pushing for one tax cut after another want to accomplish, the answer is they are basically aiming to create a fiscal crisis which will provide the environment in which they can basically eliminate the welfare state.

Buzzflash interviews Paul Krugman

Apropos of this week, I think the Bush administration has been dragging their feet on Krugman's preferred action — partial nationalization of the banks — because they are still trying to develop an investment structure that will adequately tilt the benefits to the rich.

To paraphrase the Bush plan...

Tax Cuts - Apply directly to the wealthy.
Tax Cuts - Apply directly to the wealthy.
Tax Cuts - Apply directly to the wealthy.

Mon, 13 Oct 2008 16:11:22 PDT - Link

October 11, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging - Catterday Edition

Tchan and Miko

Tchan and Miko

Sat, 11 Oct 2008 11:21:45 PDT - Link

October 9, 2008

I Approve.

In an ideal world, Richard Cheney would resign, George W. Bush would appoint Barack Obama vice president, George W. Bush would then resign, and President Barack Obama would recall the congress to set it to work. We don't live in an ideal world. In a less-ideal world, this would happen on November 5. I don't think we live in a less-ideal world. But we should do what we can.

Brad DeLong

Thu, 09 Oct 2008 16:40:12 PDT - Link

October 5, 2008

Witch Doctor?

When I was checking in for my colonoscopy, the nurse at the admissions desk asked me:

"Which Doctor?"

I replied, "No, I think I'll need a gastroenterologist."

Sun, 05 Oct 2008 20:35:10 PDT - Link

October 3, 2008

OMG! You're Such A Good Denater!

Sarah Palin Debate Flow Chart — ROFLMAO!

Fri, 03 Oct 2008 13:01:53 PDT - Link

Friday Cat Blogging

Miko in Repose


Fri, 03 Oct 2008 08:25:10 PDT - Link

More Thoughts From Last Night

As I was climbing into bed I realized something critically important about the debate. On substance, Palin was way, way out of her league, but on presentation she probably got a passing grade from the religious right.

Her debate performance has made it nearly impossible to replace her on the ticket.

Fri, 03 Oct 2008 08:25:10 PDT - Link

October 2, 2008

Good Job, Joe.

No, not me. I'm talking about Joe Biden, who found the perfect tone for the debate. There were no "Own Goals", and he focused his attacks at the top of the ticket, avoiding direct conflict with Palin.

On content, Biden's knowledge was broad and deep. Palin had the talking points down pat.

Palin did much better that I expected, but it's only because she simply blew off questions she didn't want to answer.

Thu, 02 Oct 2008 20:25:06 PDT - Link

October 1, 2008

You Need Some Good News Today

Princeton Election Consortium 2008 10 01Here's this morning's Princeton Election Consortium update.

I've never seen it like this before, with all probable outcomes showing Obama with enough electoral votes to win.

Maybe Americans are realizing that change really means change. It's not a point I've heard Obama spend much time on, but based on the pols this morning, I am in no position to second guess his judgement on how he's running his campaign.

I really can't guess what the outcome of tomorrow night's Vice Presidential debate will bring, but if Palin's recent interviews are any indication, Joe Biden will only need to be respectful, and score fewer than 3 own goals against himself.

Wed, 01 Oct 2008 07:54:17 PDT - Link

September 30, 2008

The Upside Of Down

There may be a silver lining in this market melt down. It's likely to have pushed precipitous military action against Iran off the table.

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 07:31:10 PDT - Link

September 29, 2008

George Bush Gets Lucky Again

From 2001...

Shortly after Sept. 11, George W. Bush interrupted his inveighing against evildoers to crack a joke. Bush had repeatedly promised to run an overall budget surplus at least as large as the Social Security surplus, except in the event of recession, war or national emergency. "Lucky me," he remarked to Mitch Daniels, his budget director. "I hit the trifecta." — Common Dreams

777Today, the Dow Jones Industrial average dropped 777 points.

Looks like George Bush just hit the jackpot!

                      Jan 19, 2001   Sep 29, 2008
     DOW JONES           10,587.59      10,365.45
     NASDAQ COMPOSITE     2,770.38       1,983.73
     S&P 500 INDEX        1,342.54       1,106.42
     Light, Sweet Crude     $25.43         $96.37
     National Debt         T$ 5.72        T$ 9.89

Saturday January 20, 2001 was Bush's first day in office. The numbers above were for the close of markets the day before.

On top of all this, Wife and I placed an offer on a house last Wednesday.

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 21:29:04 PDT - Link

September 28, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging - Sunday Bailout Breakthrough Edition


Tory James, assisting wife with the quilt.

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 11:19:55 PDT - Link

September 25, 2008

Exclusive! Parts Of Bush Signing Statement On Bailout Leaked!

— further, consistent with my constitutional authority, all text concerning oversight of this matter shall be interpreted as "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency." —

Thu, 25 Sep 2008 12:22:37 PDT - Link

September 23, 2008

Oversight? I Got Yer Oversite Right Here.

I'm thinking this mess is beyond oversight. I think we need "never out of our sight". Record. Every. meeting. Bipartisan review of every check written. Water Clear Transparency. Starting with a name. Who put Section 8 into the proposal? Let's have that name before the first dime is authorized.

Tue, 23 Sep 2008 22:06:28 PDT - Link

September 22, 2008

Energy Illiterate

"John McCain is energy illiterate," Simmons is saying. "He's just witless about this stuff. As a lifelong Republican, I'm supporting Obama." A dozen oil and gas men sitting around a conference table in Lafayette, La., chuckle nervously as he continues. "McCain says, 'Oh, we're going to wean ourselves off foreign oil in four years and build 45 nuclear plants by 2030.' He doesn't have a clue." — Matt Simmons

Mon, 22 Sep 2008 16:20:49 PDT - Link

You've Got It All wrong....

This is not an economic crisis. This is the normal, expected end stage of the disease known as Republican economics.

Mon, 22 Sep 2008 12:36:42 PDT - Link

Now They're Planning The Crime Of The Century II

From The Plan

Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.


Mon, 22 Sep 2008 09:12:16 PDT - Link

Now They're Planning The Crime Of The Century

This $700,000,000,000.00 bail out of Wall Street stinks to high heaven. This really feels like a set up, throwing billions and billions of dollars into a Republican sponsored black hole. I just don't see the administration who attacked the wrong country after 9/11 doing this right. They just don't do things right.

Mon, 22 Sep 2008 08:31:46 PDT - Link

September 19, 2008


My sister went out buy some manure for her garden. At the shop she found two kinds, regular for $1.50 per bag, and organic for $3.50 bag. So she had to ask...

What's more organic than cow poop?

Fri, 19 Sep 2008 11:04:44 PDT - Link

September 19, 2008

Frrrrrriday Cat Blarrrrrrgn

Cats. Arrr.

Aye, Captain Boxcleaner. We be swabbin' the sunlight off the deck. It may be takin' some time.

Fri, 19 Sep 2008 08:40:38 PDT - Link

September 18, 2008

Avast Ye Squiffy Swabs!

Tomorrrrrow is talk Like A Pirrrrrrrrrrate Day. I hope I don't get called for Jurrrrrry Duty...

Me: No disrespectin' Yourrrrr Honor, but it is Talk Like A Pirrrrrrrate Day.

Judge: Clamp the scurvy rat in irrrrons and toss him in the bilge.

That... would be bad.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 16:14:27 PDT - Link

September 17, 2008

My 401(k) Hurts.

You know, if conservatives ran a bakery, they’d always be talking about how yeasts are bad, and that it’s better for the bakery when the yeast rates are lower, then when the bread fails to rise, they’d blame it on high yeasts. — J.

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 18:13:33 PDT - Link

September 15, 2008

Facts - Very Dangerous - You Go First

Political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler provided two groups of volunteers with the Bush administration's prewar claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. One group was given a refutation — the comprehensive 2004 Duelfer report that concluded that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction before the United States invaded in 2003. Thirty-four percent of conservatives told only about the Bush administration's claims thought Iraq had hidden or destroyed its weapons before the U.S. invasion, but 64 percent of conservatives who heard both claim and refutation thought that Iraq really did have the weapons. The refutation, in other words, made the misinformation worse.

Washington Post

That's simply stunning, but not particularly artfully presented. Let's simplify:

34% of conservatives believed Bush's lies about WMDs in Iraq.

64% of conservatives believed Bush's lies about WMDs in Iraq after seeing evidence that they were lies.

How can you you ever hope to have a serious discussion with someone like that? The more evidence you present, the less likely they are to listen to the evidence.

This explains a lot.

(Edit - I'd originally swapped 43% for 34% - So it's in fact worse. Nearly twice as many 'conservatives' believed Bushes lies after getting evidence to the opposite.)

(Now the question is; does being conservative make you respond incorrectly to evidence, or are people who respond incorrectly to evidence drawn to the conservative point of view?)

Mon, 15 Sep 2008 16:18:44 PDT - Link

September 9, 2008

A Fraud of Truly Comical Dimensions

But we seem to be witnessing the first stirrings of a backlash and a dawning realization that the 'Sarah Palin' we've heard so much about over the last few days is a fraud of truly comical dimensions.

—Josh Marshall

Josh really has a way with words.

I'm still worried. Despite the electoral map giving Obama a solid lead, the networks are all over the 'likely voter' pols which show the race to be too close to call. Now, part of this might just be the networks desire to sell advertising, but there's a small shivering part of me that thinks this is an effort to make this race look close enough so that when it's stolen (again) the consuming class will have an imprinted narrative of it having been too close to call all along.

Tue, 09 Sep 2008 08:57:43 PDT - Link

September 5, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging


T-chan responding to McCain's convention address.

He did perk up his ears when McCain said "She's worked with her hands and nose..."

Fri, 05 Sep 2008 08:44:31 PDT - Link

September 2, 2008

That's Odd.

I'm not sure if I'm the only one who noticed, but during tonight's Republican speeches there was someone in the audience who had a loud, distinctive and distracting shout, which they elected to use just one beat out of sync with the rest of the crowd, close enough to the stage mics to be frequently and annoyingly heard above the rest.

Very Distracting.

And the speeches themselves weren't so hot either.

Note to Joe Lieberman: Staples is running a sale, and you're gonna need new business cards.

Tue, 02 Sep 2008 23:08:03 PDT - Link

Snark Of The Day

Palin is all mukluks and no caribou.

Tue, 02 Sep 2008 14:12:38 PDT - Link

Lies, Damn Lies, and Stopovers.

The Ireland trip was a refueling stop on her trip to military installations in Germany and Kuwait, spokeswoman Maria Comella said.

And she's also visited Canada, another spokesman, Ben Porritt, says.

Ben Smith

Oh Snap! John McCain's running mate didn't even spend the night in Ireland. It was only a refueling stop. I've changed planes 4 times in Nagoya, but I never claimed to have 'visited' Nagoya.

Now we need to find out if "visited Canada" was just changing planes in Vancouver.

Tue, 02 Sep 2008 13:36:07 PDT - Link

September 1, 2008

Abstinence Only Fail

ST. PAUL (Reuters) - The 17-year-old daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant, Palin said on Monday in an announcement intended to knock down rumors by liberal bloggers that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child.


This should not disqualify Sara Palin from becoming the Republicans vice presidential candidate. She should be disqualified because she is simply not ready to become president. She is the Michael D. Brown* of vice presidential candidates.

I went back to Wikipedia this morning, and the trip to Ireland has been expunged. I'm withholding judgment, but at this time I've seen no evidence that Sara Palin has ever left the USA just to experience another part of the world. This isn't 1908, folks. Someone in line to be president must have proven interest in the rest of the world if they want to be the "leader of the free world."

* Actually, Brown is probably more qualified that Palin to be president. Lest we forget, when things began to spin out of control he he raised the alarm to Washington for help. It was the Bush administration who really dropped the ball.

Mon, 01 Sep 2008 10:14:12 PDT - Link

August 31, 2008

An Insult To The World

Dear John. I'm sure Sarah Palin is a very nice person, and she's by all accounts a very loving protective mother, but I'm worried. You see, she apparently hasn't seen much of the world. Did you see this in the New York Times?

Ms. Palin appears to have traveled very little outside the United States. In July 2007, she had to get a passport before she visited members of the Alaska National Guard stationed in Kuwait, according to her deputy communications director, Sharon Leighow. She also visited wounded troops in Germany during that trip. - New York Times

Between you and me John, that doesn't sound like someone who is connected to the rest of the world. This worried me so much that I've been asking the Google all morning about her world travels. I found this this in the Wikipedia

Palin has traveled abroad twice: once to Ireland, and in 2007 to Germany and Kuwait, where she met with members of the Alaska National Guard.

It looks to me like she's been to Ireland once, but it's not clear if it was was so long ago that she needed to get a new passport for the 2007 Germany Kuwait trip, or if it was part of that same trip. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt, and assume that it was a separate vacation to the Emerald Isle.

But let me get this straight, John. You searched the whole nation and picked a running mate who, at best, has been out of the country twice, and one of those trips was official business, visiting US nationals on US military installations, on the US dime. We can't really count that for world travel, can we? It's not like she wandered the streets, chatted up the locals over coffee in cafes.

You're no spring chicken, John, and the VP might be called on to take the wheel of the ship of state in (literally) a heartbeat. I'm not nearly as old as you John, but twice in my life I have seen the vice president serve out the president's term.

A word in your ear, John. It's an insult to the world to have chosen a running mate who has so little interest in the rest of the the world that she's only bothered to visit it once.

Sun, 31 Aug 2008 09:57:56 PDT - Link

August 29, 2008

Top five reasons McCain Chose Sarah Palin

#5 She's not named Fay, Rita, or Katrina

#4 Two Words: Moose Burgers!

#3 It's a sure lock on Alaska's 3 electoral votes

#2 He was a big fan of her work in Monty Python

#1 Proven ability to garner enough loyalty in her staff to break the law.

Fri, 29 Aug 2008 09:04:30 PDT - Link

August 19, 2008

John McCain's Shorter Energy Plan

1) Drill Drill Drill

2) Burn Burn Burn (all the oil)

3) Carve big stone heads

Tue, 19 Aug 2008 23:49:42 PDT - Link

August 18, 2008

Shorter John McCain at Saddleback:

I'd balance the right wing of the Supreme Court with an ultra-right wing.

Mon, 18 Aug 2008 08:31:26 PDT - Link

August 15, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Tory - listening for the posse

Tory James: Sounds like 10 to 15 horses and... and... Zzzzz Zzzzzz

Fri, 15 Aug 2008 08:10:45 PDT - Link

August 6, 2008

Oh, That Doggone Electoral Collage


The Princeton Election Consortium is looking at the polls on a state by state basis, then applying the electoral votes to the states to give a picture of where the election stands (today).

Looking at the distribution, it's not very close. No where near close enough for election tampering to make the difference. No where near as close as they make it sound in the main stream media.

I've already made a contribution to Obama's campaign, and he's going to get more from me every time he says things like:

Now two points, one, they know they're lying about what my energy plan is, but the other thing is they're making fun of a step that every expert says would absolutely reduce our oil consumption by 3 to 4 percent. It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant.

I keep waiting to hear that Giant Hissing Sound as the true believers head out in their driveways to let a few PSI out of their SUVs just to show solidarity. You know that's coming. Some willful ignorant will call into right wing radio to witness that he got better mileage with less pressure in his tires, and dittoheads all over the nation will take up the call.

Wed, 06 Aug 2008 08:55:06 PDT - Link

August 5, 2008

Who'da Thunk?

But who's really out of touch? The Bush Administration estimates that expanded offshore drilling could increase oil production by 200,000 bbl. per day by 2030. We use about 20 million bbl. per day, so that would meet about 1% of our demand two decades from now. Meanwhile, efficiency experts say that keeping tires inflated can improve gas mileage 3%, and regular maintenance can add another 4%. Many drivers already follow their advice, but if everyone did, we could immediately reduce demand several percentage points. In other words: Obama is right.


Of course the right wing is apoplectic that Obama suggested keeping your tires properly inflated in response to a direct question from a voter as to what she could do today.

I've personally observed that I can get about 2-3% better millage on my own car, and it also helps a percent or so to keep it washed. But mostly I save gas by combining trips, and working at home when possible, and rather than driving from store to store to find a rare item, I'll order it online.

We're still wasting loads of energy. Our grocery store keeps the milk in a walk-in cooler that has an open side to the store. Apparently, they think I'll buy less milk if I have to open a glass door to get to it, so they removed ALL the doors. The result is wasted energy, and milk that has gone off a week before its "sell by" date.

Tue, 05 Aug 2008 09:00:17 PDT - Link

July 25, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Full House

Fri, 25 Jul 2008 08:51:55 PDT - Link

July 23, 2008

Everything You Need To Know About McCain's Neverending war

John Lewison has put together a short documentary on John McCain's Neverending War [youtube]

Wed, 23 Jul 2008 12:51:38 PDT - Link

July 18, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Miko: I'm ready for my close-up, dad.


Miko: Wait. Too close.

Fri, 18 Jul 2008 08:52:15 PDT - Link

Musical Experiments Update

I removed the cover from the bridge pickup on the Les Paul. The result was a crisper, more defined sound, without going all twangy. I love the tone, very Jimmy Page.

I also 'top-wrapped' the tailpost with a new set of strings, but I'm not sure as sure about that mod. The problem is that while it has no effect on the nut-to-nut scale, there is another 1/2 inch of string tuner to tail stop, which means that I have to push the strings further for the same amount of note bend.

I'm not sure I like this change so much, the feel is better on my right hand, but now my left has to work much harder. Since they are new strings, I'll leave it strung up this way until it's time to replace them.

Fri, 18 Jul 2008 08:52:15 PDT - Link

July 11, 2008

Friday Big Cat Blogging

Nice Kitty

Zulu: "No, I don't want any damn Cheetos.And It wasn't even funny the first time."

Fri, 11 Jul 2008 09:17:11 PDT - Link

July 10, 2008

We're Number One!

President George Bush signed off with a defiant farewell over his refusal to accept global climate change targets at his last G8 summit.

As he prepared to fly out from Japan, he told his fellow leaders: "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."


Oh, Bush really put his foot in it this time. I betcha Faux News will be all over this, you know.

Thu, 10 Jul 2008 17:21:19 PDT - Link

July 8, 2008


RUSUTSU, Japan - World leaders on Tuesday endorsed halving world emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, edging forward in the battle against global warming but stopping short of tough, nearer-term targets. — Huffington Post

Yeah, right. That's like saying an a decade, I target being 10 years older.

The reason carbon emissions will be down 50% in 42 years is that the world production of fossil fuels will be down 50%.

Tue, 08 Jul 2008 07:54:34 PDT - Link

July 5, 2008

Matias Gets Some Love From Engadget

My former co-worker at Danger is now at Palm, so says Engadget.

Sat, 05 Jul 2008 11:06:13 PDT - Link

July 4, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Tory in Bed

Tory: How many times do I have to tell you? I'll get up when you bring the coffee.

Fri, 04 Jul 2008 08:22:54 PDT - Link

June 29, 2008

Podcast - The Seasons Stories 3: Summer - a Ranma 1/2 Audio Fanfiction

This is a Ranma 1/2 audio Fanfiction. No, it's not a new story, it was first published over 10 years ago. Summer is the third in an arc of four stories which have come to be called "The Seasons Stories" in the Ranma 1/2 fanfiction world.

Please consider this a preview — I plan to add background sound effects and do a bit more mastering to clean up the sound - what you're hearing here is the raw recording and overdubs off my MR-8 mkII recorder.

Enjoy, and please let me know if you like what you hear.


Sun, 29 Jun 2008 20:50:53 PDT - Link

June 27, 2008


"Reclamation is another big issue," Ms. Resseguie said. "These plants potentially have a 20- to 30-year life span. How to restore that land is a big question for us."

Citing Need for Assessments, U.S. Freezes Solar Energy Projects

Yeah. Right. Like we're not going to need solar power in 20 - 30 years. Like any site that is ideal for solar energy won't still be used for solar energy in 100, or 200 or 1000 years.

Clue time. The solar plants will still be needed and still be there after Palm Springs, Las Vegas and Phoenix and the other desert boom cities have shriveled from a lack of water.

Well, with oil at $141.23 as I write, it's the perfect time for the Bush mis-administration to step in and place a roadblock in front of one of the most promising long-term solutions to the energy crisis.

Can we have the election now? PLEASE???

Fri, 27 Jun 2008 07:58:41 PDT - Link

Friday Big Cat Blogging


Tonka, a resident of the Reno Animal Ark

Fri, 27 Jun 2008 07:28:07 PDT - Link

June 26, 2008

A Mysterious Surge of Overwhelming Cuteness

The guiding principle at all such places is a mysterious Japanese concept called "moe" (pronounced both moh and MORE-ay), a word literally translated as "blossoming or sprouting like a flower from a bud," but which now refers to a surge of overwhelming cuteness. Mr. Macias explained: "You can get moe from babies or small animals and you most definitely get it from a pretty woman in a maid's costume who draws a bunny rabbit in ketchup on your eggs."

Service With a Wink to a Japanese Fad New York Times

Thu, 26 Jun 2008 08:17:12 PDT - Link

June 24, 2008

David J.C. MacKay Talks Energy

Starting with an interview at The Register which mentions his new book but fails to provide a link...

(Perform the normal incantations.... Googoluium...Searchola!

David J.C. MacKay:

Personal Website (Very Interesting — loads of great links)

Sustainable Energy - without the hot air Energy Blog

Sustainable Energy - without the hot air — Book Site (Yes, you can download and read it here, and there is a link to a 1 hour podcast)

Okay, The Register? That wasn't so hard then, was it? You could have included those links then, don;t you think? ^_^

Tue, 24 Jun 2008 19:57:47 PDT - Link

June 23, 2008

Connections Part 4: Disappointment

Oil prices rose Monday on disappointment over Saudi Arabia's modest production increase and concerns that output from Nigeria will decline. Retail gas prices, meanwhile, inched lower overnight, but appear unlikely to change much as long as oil prices remain stuck in their recent trading range.

Yahoo! Finance

Mon, 23 Jun 2008 08:36:53 PDT - Link

Connections Part 3: Double Time

A person from near Camp Pendleton has posted over at the Housing Bubble Blog several times recently and says that there has been a marked increase in ordnance testing at the base. For Iran perhaps ?

In her words it seems "...that we are building up for a biggy." and that the "...bombs are being dropped in double time now."

She also said that when she starts hearing the choppers flying over in the middle of the night then she knows that more troops are being deployed. She claims it hasn't reached that point yet but I'm sure she'll update if these deployments start.

Catskill at The Oil Drum

Mon, 23 Jun 2008 08:36:53 PDT - Link

Connections Part 2: details

Unlike the attack on Iraq five years ago, to deal with Iran there need be no massing of troops. And, with the propaganda buildup already well under way, there need be little, if any, forewarning before shock and awe and pox - in the form of air and missile attacks - begin.

This time it will be largely the Air Force's show, punctuated by missile and air strikes by the Navy. Israeli-American agreement has now been reached at the highest level; the armed forces planners, plotters and pilots are working out the details.

Bomb Iran? What's to Stop Us?

Mon, 23 Jun 2008 08:36:53 PDT - Link

Connections Part 1: Haywire

Americans need do no more than check the weather, look in their wallets or turn on the news for their daily reality check on a world gone haywire.

AP: Is everything seemingly spinning out of control?

Mon, 23 Jun 2008 08:36:53 PDT - Link

June 20, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Tory in Blanket

Tory in Blanket. Because sometimes a fur coat is not enough.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:03:44 PDT - Link

June 16, 2008

He's Illiterate.

This evening during the usual political burble, the fact that McCain does not know how to use a computer came up.

The more I think about it, the more it bothers me. In fact, the more I think about it, the more it frightens me.

Just where does a person who cannot navigate the Google get his information? Newspapers? Faux News? Congressional aids?

That's a special kind of scary. Not that you can trust everything that comes through the tubes, but 10 minutes with any search engine will find expert level information on nearly every subject, and expose you to a wide range of thinking. A person with a developed BS detector can learn a lot in a short period of time.

McCain doesn't do this. His view of reality does not include the ability to dive into an unfamiliar subject on his own. Everything he sees or reads comes through another layer of filtering.

How would this affect his understanding of say - energy issues? He can meet with the executives of oil companies all day, and the subject of Peak Oil might never be broached.

If he meets with the heads of car companies, he will come away with lots of grand visions of the Hydrogen Economy, but they will find ways to explain that raising CAFE standards will not save gas. (Yeah, right)

If he meets with the heads of the Nuclear industry, he will hear a lot about regulation, and insurance, but will the conversation ever get to Uranium resources?

Seriously, how in touch can a man be if he has let the computer revolution pass him by? He said it himself. He's Illiterate.

Mon, 16 Jun 2008 22:18:04 PDT - Link

June 15, 2008


For the engineer, reality is in the track ahead. For the player in the club car, reality is in the cards. - jpalmer

Expressing the problem is dollars is entirely the wrong way to think about it. - Leanan at The Oil Drum

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 11:44:40 PDT - Link

June 13, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Miko and Tory

Miko: Was that a shooting star?

Tory: Lay off the absynthe, Vincent, or I'll bite your ear off.

Fri, 13 Jun 2008 08:42:08 PDT - Link

June 12, 2008

Images of the Martin Fire in Bonny Doon

A Flickr set from a coworker who has a great eye, a fine camera, and not enough fear of fire.

Thu, 12 Jun 2008 09:56:04 PDT - Link

June 10, 2008


Thanks, PS. This pickup rocks.

Tue, 10 Jun 2008 20:20:45 PDT - Link

Flash Deemed Not Evil

From This is not your practice blog a particularly entertaining example. Scott says "Keep Watching".

Tue, 10 Jun 2008 20:04:30 PDT - Link

Prius Mileage Blogging

Over the weekend we took our first "long" car trip in a couple of years.

San Jose to Reno: 269 Miles, 5.7 Gal, 47 MPG
Reno to San Jose: 269 Miles, 4.6 Gal, 58 MPG
Round Trip: 538 Miles, 10.24 Gal, 52.5 MPG Average

We made it to Reno and part way back on one tank, filling up in the Mountain town of Nyack at $4.699 / gallon.

Tue, 10 Jun 2008 15:20:27 PDT - Link

June 6, 2008

Something Is Afoot.

The May 8 letter from U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., chair of the House Judiciary Committee, to George W. Bush received virtually no media coverage, in spite of the fact that it warned the president that an attack on Iran without Congressional approval would be grounds for impeachment. Rumor has it several senators have been briefed about the possibility of war with Iran.

Something is afoot.

Rumors of War: Is Bush Gearing Up to Attack Iran? alternet.org

Oh yeah, and oil is up $6.45 to $134.24.

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 08:51:07 PDT - Link

Friday Cat Blogging

Miko and T-CHan

Miko and T-Chan

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 08:28:30 PDT - Link

June 4, 2008

Last Night

Note to John McCain: When you say: "Why does Senator Obama believe it's so important to repeat that idea over and over again?..." try not to deliver it as if you were channeling Andy Rooney. It's not good to associate yourself to the one person Americans would identify as being older and grumpier than you. But then, perhaps that was your point.

Note to Hillary Clinton: The race is over, you came in a "close" second. If this was a 2118 lap race, Obama saw the checkered flag while you still had 192 laps left to go. In fact, if this had been the Indy 500, he finished over 45 Miles in the lead. You can keep circling the track, senator, but it will not change the outcome of the race.

I don't understand why you didn't acknowledge Obama as the winner. The simple math is you are number two now, and should Obama get hit by a political meteor, you will become the party's nominee. There was nothing to be gained by your no decisions tonight stance, and the one way you could lose your spare driver position would be to run Obama off the road.

Last night was Obama's night, and you did your level best to diminish it. Don't get me wrong, if you are called to step up to the top of the ticket, I'll vote for you, but I'll be holding my nose. The last thing America needs is Andy Rooney as president.

Note to Barak Obama: Great Race. You won with class and style. You have my vote in November.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 09:03:06 PDT - Link

May 31, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging - Saturday Edition

Tory and Miko

Tory and Miko

Sat, 31 May 2008 09:48:34 PDT - Link

May 23, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Cousin Smokey

Cousin Smokey — Image by Auntie Karen

Smokey is an appropriate choice for this morning, smoke from the Santa Cruz Mountain fire is quite strong in the air.

In other news, I paid $4.14 per gallon to fill up the Prius last night.

Fri, 23 May 2008 08:57:35 PDT - Link

May 21, 2008

$132 - Yipes!

West Texas Intermediate crude oil traded briefly above $132 this morning. It's now bouncing around $131.50. It traded at only(!) $100 on the first trading day of the year.

Update: WTI closed at $133.17.

Wed, 21 May 2008 08:37:40 PDT - Link

May 20, 2008

Scenes From a Bed

11:46 PM, Last Night.

Joe is standing on the bed, holding a tissue, attempting to catch a silverfish that is on the ceiling just over the pillows.

Silverfish Evades capture by diving to the bed.

Joe gives chase, lifting pillows and pouncing with the tissue.

Joe: "I got him!"

Wife: "Are you sure?"

Joe: "Yes, he's here in my tissue"

Wife: "No, are you sure it's a he?"

Tue, 20 May 2008 08:58:14 PDT - Link

May 16, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

T-chan and Guitar

Can I borrow your new guitar, DAAAAD???

(Photo by auntie Karen, caption by wife.)

Fri, 16 May 2008 08:36:07 PDT - Link

More On California Lifting The Gay Marriage Ban

There was much celebrating last night, but in the light of the morning some questions and issues throb like a cheap chardonnay hangover.

First, there will be questions. Important questions. Questions like... were are you getting married? evening or afternoon ceremony? where are you registered? and which side should I sit on? — Is it too soon in the season to wear white?

Second, there will be economic consequences to California. The tens to hundreds of thousands (can it be millions?) of couples suddenly able and wanting to be married represent a huge economic risk. The price of flowers will go through the roof. There will be shortages and sudden price spikes for confectioners sugar and fondant. Don't even try to rent a tux.

With these issues in mind, Californians will do what we always do. We'll roll up our sleeves and work hard to get past this initial crisis. Those almond filled wedding favors won't make themselves, you know.

Needless to say, I've been grinning a lot the last day. I'm happy for friends, and friends of friends who's fundamental rights will now be recognized. I'm happy that couples who have lived committed lives for decades can have their relationships legally recognized for what they always were. I'm very happy and very proud to live in California today.

Fri, 16 May 2008 07:18:46 PDT - Link

May 15, 2008


Crude oil briefly plunged nearly $6 per barrel from its highs today on news that the California Supreme court has overturned the gay marriage ban in that state.

Thu, 15 May 2008 11:07:49 PDT - Link

May 13, 2008

Capitan Kirk SO Gets It.

Tonight I recorded the Glen Beck show to see an interview with James Howard Kunstler. The interview was less than stellar, (Beck doesn't know when to shut up and listen) and in teh end it was cut short to run a promo of an interview that Beck did with William Shatner. It went places I truly didn't expect:

I buy that the world is falling apart. In every way. The Main Cause of it is overpopulation. Not the main — the Cause of the world's destruction is there are too many people. — William Shatner

My opinion of William Shatner just shot through the roof.

Tue, 13 May 2008 21:50:58 PDT - Link

Et Tu, Albert?

Uncle AlbertThe word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. — Albert Einstein


Tue, 13 May 2008 21:22:47 PDT - Link

May 13, 2008

Signs Of The Times

4.03 9/10 Gas

There it is.

$4.03 9/10 for a gallon of regular. It's the first $4.00+ I've seen, and it's just down the street. So is the Big Truck™

Oh yeah, oil's at $125.82 / Bl.

Tue, 13 May 2008 12:53:55 PDT - Link

May 9, 2008

Oil at $126.20

— Even though I've been following Peak Oil for years, it's still jarring when the effects show up at the door.

— I'm rather pleased that Obama didn't fall for the 'gas tax holiday' scheme. That's just circuses and cakes when what we're facing is a literal shortage of wheat and a figurative surplus of clowns.

— The SUVs and big pickups are starting to show up on the sides of the busy streets with "For Sale" signs.

— I'm seeing a lot more step-though scooters lately, and the occasional 3 wheeled motor bike.

— I still haven't seen $4.00 for regular yet, but I only see one gas station on my commute, and the day is young.

Fri, 09 May 2008 08:08:12 PDT - Link

Friday Cat Blogging


Tory James, who turned 12 yesterday, proves that in fact, you can fall off the floor.

Fri, 09 May 2008 07:18:12 PDT - Link

May 6, 2008

I Love 'Dem Inturtubewebs

So last night I'm working out the TAB for a song, and I'm wondering what I'd call the chord {x 6 8 8 6 x}, and I thought; "Maybe someone's done a web based application to find the name of guitar chords based on finger position."


Chord Namer at JGuitar is just such a tool.

Go to the site. Use The Tools. Click the ads!

Tue, 06 May 2008 07:38:09 PDT - Link

May 5, 2008

Oil Hit $120 a Barrel Today

ASPO Chart

CNBC will tell you it's because of a strike or strife in Nigeria, but I think it's because for each the last 25+ years, we've been using more oil than we've found in that year. More than twice as much in recent years.

This is supply and demand. We control demand, but the supply is now firmly in the hands of geology.

Chart from ASPO Newsletetr #89

Mon, 05 May 2008 08:49:34 PDT - Link

May 4, 2008

The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class

From the Graduate Council Lectures at UC Berkeley, Elizabeth Warren discusses The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class.

This is an outstanding and chilling presentation of the economic pressures on the typical American family of four in the most recent generation.

Take a look at this, then ponder the irrelevance of a summer gas tax holiday. Then ponder why the news is always talking about the tiny, simple stories.

Sun, 04 May 2008 10:41:45 PDT - Link

May 2, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging


Sleeping in. Again.

Fri, 02 May 2008 07:45:49 PDT - Link

April 30, 2008

Oh, That's Why....

Now it's much more complicated. There is a sliding scale based on the footprint of each individual vehicle. The footprint is defined as the wheelbase times the average of the track width or the area within the wheels. The larger the footprint, the lower the threshold that vehicle has to meet. Therefore for two cars of similar overall size but one with a longer wheelbase, the longer one would have a lower mileage requirement. Each automaker is then assigned an individual threshold to meet based on the sales weighted average footprint of the vehicles it sells. A company that sells more large footprint vehicles would have a lower hurdle to jump.


Get ready for longer Detroit iron - something really stretched, and long and low, like the batmobile. Never mind, it's already here.

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 13:01:54 PDT - Link

April 27, 2008

New Toys

Les Paul Standard and VOX AD30VT

I told Darryl that his new Album War Of Blue was going to cost me.

The Guitar is a 2007 Les Paul Standard, which I picked up earlier this month on Craig's List from a guy who was switching to a Satriani Guitar more amenable to shredding. I haven't got a scale handy, but it feels quite light as Les Pauls go. It does have what's called a 'chambered' body, which means that some of the mahogany was drilled out above and around the tail stop at the factory. (X-Ray picture here).

It's still pretty stock, but I have plans to upgrade the pots, and yesterday I tweaked the nut slots under the E and A strings with superglue and some dust scrapped from a fragment of piano key I've kept in my art box since 1977. I also had to drill out the mounting holes in the tunamatic bridge to allow the height adjusters to operate correctly.

The sound is pure Les Paul - it has the newer BurstBucker Pro pickups, which have a classic, more interesting, hand-wound tone than machine-perfect-wound pickups. No complaints on the tone, (In fact I love it) although I am thinking of removing the bridge pickup cover to make it look more like Jimmy Page's 59.

Oddly enough, it seems to have come factory-loaded with Led Zeppelin songs. All the licks I practiced in the 70's came flowing back as soon as I picked it up.

This is my second Les Paul, the first was a '70s Deluxe, which I eventually let go because I couldn't get the tone I wanted. I can't say this will be my last Les Paul, but I'm planning on keeping it and playing it as long as I can move my fingers.

The amp is a VOX AD30VT, which combines a DSP front end, a 12AX7 vacuum tube driver, a 30 watt solid state power amp, and an enclosed 10" speaker (with cat-proof grill!).

I only picked it up yesterday, but the range of tones that this amp delivers is staggering. Everything from ultra-clean to metal crunch, with loads of variations in between. I can't say enough about how cool it is to have all these amp models (11 in all) to play with, and how each one seems to inspire a different song style to come from my fingers.

The DSP also delivers some effects which I describe as "interesting", but I may come to appreciate them after I've learned how to tweak them to my preference.

I picked it up at Guitar Showcase as a practice amp, for something to keep at home while my aging JC-120 does duty with the band, but I'm loving the tone so much it may take over as my main amp. (Any one in Silicon Valley want to buy a JC-120?)

It wasn't until I got it home and peeked in the manual that I discovered my favorite feature — it has a power level control knob on the back that allows me to set the max power anywhere from 30 watts to less than one tenth of a watt, without affecting the amp tone. Obviously, the speaker does contribute to tone as the volume changes, but the power level control protects the neighbors from accidental audio bombardment.

You might wonder why the whole world hasn't all switched to this amp, after this glowing review, and the answer is that the amp falls apart if you hold a chord to the very last. On a fully analog chain, the sound dips smoothly out of the distortion and keeps dropping until it disappears into the noise. In this DSP based system, the sound holds on for a very, very long time, but then falls off a cliff, and the distortion model begins to stutter and fail, then a noise gate kicks in to drop the output to dead quiet.

Shredders won't find this much of an issue, but those of us inspired by Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and David Gilmore will occasionally find ourselves sinking into the digital chaos and silence.

Still, The VOX AD30VT a great value, and will teach you to play better — just set up a sound, get the speaker pointed at your ears, and play. I paid about $250 after taxes, it was on sale and I got a discount because of some shipping rash.

Anyway, if another week goes by without blogging, you'll know it's because I'm spending it with my new musical friends.

War Of Blue

P.S. If you've been thinking about a new guitar and need some inspiration to get you over the hump, I recommend Darryl St. Johns new album War of Blue.

Gibson should give out copies at music stores. It's what drove me back into the Les Paul fold.

Sun, 27 Apr 2008 11:57:39 PDT - Link

April 25, 2008

Friday Bat Clogging



Oh man, another week with no blog entries.

Not that I haven't had loads on my mind, I just haven't been able to get up to a rolling boil on any one issue. Here's a few snippets:

- Hillary, Obama is the heir, and you are the spare. You can't become queen by sliming the heir. If he falls from grace, the position is yours, if you push him, not so much.

- I still haven't personally seen $4.00 for regular yet. San Jose Gas Prices has eight locations at over $4 just now.

I was expecting $4 gas, I did not make the connection to food riots in the third world.

Oil pinged $119 on news that a "U.S.-contracted ship fires toward Iranian boat". Hmmm. I wonder if Blackwater has any littoral ships.

It looks like a refinery strike in Scotland will shut in production at up to 60 fields, and may shut the refinery for a month. (The US imports refined fuel from the UK.)

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 09:11:29 PDT - Link

April 18, 2008

Friday cat Blogging


Miko: No, you can't have my spot in the sun. Beeeeeeda!

Fri, 18 Apr 2008 08:13:25 PDT - Link

A Thing of Beauty

Myopic Void has posted an essay on his recreation of Jimmy Page's Hiwatt amp at Metropoulos Amplification

I've always loved the sound of the Hiwatt, the odd mix of distortion, warmth and clarity. This loving recreation makes me long for the days when you could actually see the tubes throbbing, and when you look under the hood you can actually see the components. (My latest projects use parts so small that the boars feels like sandpaper, and I need a stereo microscope and a needle probe on my oscilloscope.)

Fri, 18 Apr 2008 09:07:49 PDT - Link

April 11, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging


Tory James

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 08:20:55 PDT - Link

Overheard at lunch

"My last phone? I was bending over the cat's water dish, it slipped out of my shirt pocket and 'ploop', in it went"

"You should ask your wife for your own water dish!"

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 08:20:55 PDT - Link

April 10, 2008

Quality of Life

Last Saturday, my sister and I were sitting in my living room and I said, 'I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and continuous fluids to keep me alive. That would be no quality of life at all. If that ever happens, just stop everything and pull the plug.

So my sister got up, unplugged my computer, and threw out my wine.

From an email from Chuck D., channeling Writer Chick channeling Maxine

Thu, 10 Apr 2008 08:41:15 PDT - Link

April 5, 2009

Silicon Memory

Just a post-dated note to self - The Les Paul Standard joined the herd today. (I'll blog more about it later)

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 08:48:39 PDT - Link

April 4, 2008

Fricat Day Blogging

Lick LOLed

Miko and T-Chan

Fri, 04 Apr 2008 08:49:15 PDT - Link

April 2, 2008

A Really Really Bad Feeling About This

Israel's security Cabinet has decided to redistribute gas masks to the entire population amid fears of a non-conventional war with Iran. The last distribution was before the U.S. invasion of Iraq four years ago. The gas masks were collected last year because they were out of date.

Voice of America

Wed, 02 Apr 2008 12:55:44 PDT - Link

April 1, 2008

First Ever Virus On BeOS!

Ah, those clever, clever hax0rs: How to P0wn the Be0S on a B3B0X.

Tue, 01 Apr 2008 08:14:38 PDT - Link

March 28, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging



Fri, 28 Mar 2008 08:24:23 PDT - Link

March 25, 2008

I Have A Bad Feeling About This

Riyadh (dpa) - The Saudi Shura council will secretly discuss national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom following experts' warnings of possible attacks on Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactors, media reports said Saturday.

he Saudi-based King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology has prepared a proposal that encapsulates the probabilities of leaking nuclear and radiation hazards in case of any unexpected nuclear attacks in Iran, the Okaz Saudi newspaper said.

Wire Dispatch

I can has new president soon, please? kthxbai

Tue, 25 Mar 2008 19:39:06 PDT - Link

The War On Science

The story that I was told when I was asked, why do I have to have my testimony reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget in the White House before it's given to Congress, and they said, 'Well, your testimony needs to be consistent with the President's budget." I mean, it doesn't make sense. —DR. JAMES HANSEN

Democracy Now: Censoring Science: Inside the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming

This is a 50 minute piece, available in Real Video, Real Audio and MP3.

I was tempted to say that the administration was winning the War on Science, but the insurgents (AKA scientists) continue to hold the high ground.

P.S. Hanson's comment, "it doesn't make sense" could equally apply to the President's budget.

Tue, 25 Mar 2008 08:15:56 PDT - Link

March 21, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Tory and T-chan

Tory and T-chan

Fri, 21 Mar 2008 07:41:58 PDT - Link

March 20, 2008

What, Again?


CNN (AKA the Obama Minister Channel) is reporting That Scooter Libby Has Been disbarred. The first thing that came to mind was Bush commuting his 30-month prison term, and another kind of bars.

Thu, 20 Mar 2008 09:08:11 PDT - Link

March 19, 2008

Why They Don't Let Joe On CNN: Reason Number 298

Republican Noise Droid: Why didn't Obama leave his church when his pastor said those things?

Joe: Ah, well, you're a Republican, right?

Republican Noise Droid: Yes, and proud of it.

Joe: Well then why didn't you leave the Republican party when the leader of your party lied to get us into a war?

Wed, 19 Mar 2008 19:30:40 PDT - Link

March 18, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke 1917 - 2008

The last of the giants has fallen.

1. "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."*

2. "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."

3. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

— Clarke's three laws:

* While I cannot assume the mantle of "distinguished" for myself, I am always aware of this law, and am quite hesitant to say something cannot be done.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 21:53:40 PDT - Link

On The Topic Of Fanfiction

Checking through my logs, I've noticed some hits from Ambulatory Kettle over at Fanfiction.net, who said embarrassingly nice things about my stories.

Here's back at ya!

P.S. I'm reading my way through "Spring of Drowned Dojo"

I haven't enjoyed Ranma fanfiction much of late (especially my own) but I'm having a hard time putting this one down.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 21:36:19 PDT - Link

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama "A More Perfect Union" Constitution Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Historic. Breathtaking. Inspiring.

This is what leadership looks like, people.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 08:38:56 PDT - Link

Hallucinated Wealth

Over the weekend, the Federal Reserve engineered a $30-billion dollar Saint Paddy's day present for the JP Morgan bank by handing them the corpse of Bear Stearns. The object of the game is to prevent the "assets" of Bear Stearns from going to the auction block, on which they would be discovered to be nearly worthless, which would instantly render all similar assets held by the other big banks to be similarly worthless, and would result in a universal margin call that would pretty much unwind the hallucinated "wealth" acquired the past ten years.

James Howard Kunstler

Sunday night, the Bear Sterns take-over deal swept around the world, causing market across Asia and Europe to swoon. The news was bad enough that CNBC dropped their weekend paid programming to run the world feed, but by the end of the trading day in New York, the NYSE was up.

That's a lot of clapping, Wendy.

The worst part of this mess is that unwinding these leveraged fantasy positions and derivative will leave the economy flat on its back (thanks loads, Republicans) just at a time when we'll be waking up to the basic fact that there are, in fact limits to growth.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 07:53:35 PDT - Link

March 15, 2008

Saturday Bee Blogging


Wild Behive - March 13, 2008 - Nikon D70S 200mm F/5.6 1/125sec.

Sat, 15 Mar 2008 11:36:31 PDT - Link

March 14, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging



Fri, 14 Mar 2008 07:55:21 PDT - Link

March 12, 2008

$110.14 / Barrel - or - Today Is A Bad Day To Buy A Hummer

Oil is at $110.14 in after hours trading today. It's up 10% since the first trading day of the year. Just thought you'd like to know.

Wed, 12 Mar 2008 13:01:15 PDT - Link

March 9, 2008

Album Review: War of Blue

War of Blue - Darryl St. John Band

I've known Darryl for over 30 years. In fact, for a time I owned and played a Les Paul Deluxe that he played while in Atlantic Mine. (It was replaced by that '59 in the cover image on the right, which became Darryl's main axe, and I let the Deluxe go in a moment of weakness some 25 years ago.)

Back to the album... From the 'needle drop' and first searing chords of "Well Well Well", I knew I was in for a treat. This is Rock and Roll, distilled, pure, in large, satisfying doses. Michele McCarthy's voice is a perfect match for the sound - hints of Janice Joplin, hints of Robert Plant, but overall an original top-dead-center rock voice. Marc Golde provides a solid and textured background on bass and keys. Beneath it all Zak St. John, Darryl's son and home grown drummer provides a a crisp and sparkling beat on seven of the nine tracks, with Greg Theil stepping up for two of the tracks.

Darryl's guitar work is naturally the focus of the album, and here be magic. The influence of Jimmy Page shines through on the Zep cover tracks "I Can't quit you babe" and "Since I've Been Loving You". Okay - Influence isn't the right word here. It's as if Darryl is channeling Page through his fingers. Page on his very best nights. Maybe it's because I grew up on that sound, and it's burned into the ROM of my soul, but the combination of Les Paul guitar and Marshall Amp has never sounded better. Throughout, Darryl's guitar growls, sings, cries, and always satisfies.

Check Darryl's myspace page to hear some of his work, and to purchase War of Blue, and Skope Magazine has a great bio.

I wrote Darryl to tell him his album was really going to cost me - I've been prowling Craigslist for a Les Paul to try to capture a little of that magic for myself.

Sun, 09 Mar 2008 09:43:02 PDT - Link

March 8, 2008

The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus

Via RealClimate, a study that looks at what climate scientists were really thinking in the '70s:

The survey identified only seven articles indicating cooling compared to 42 indicating warming. Those seven cooling articles garnered just 12% of the citations. Graphical representations of this survey are shown in Figure 1 for the number of articles and Figure 2 for the number of citations. Interestingly, only two of the articles would, according to the current state of climate science, be considered wrong in the sense of getting the wrong sign of the response to the forcing they considered.

The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus

Let's put this one to bed folks. Climate science comes from climate scientists, not from Newsweek.

Sat, 08 Mar 2008 09:03:15 PST - Link

March 7, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Miko and Tory

Miko and Tory. — Photo by Wife

Fri, 07 Mar 2008 18:59:27 PST - Link

March 6, 2008

A Florida Moment...

It sounds like Michigan is planning caucuses in order to have their delegates seated at the convention. Florida is making noises, but most of them are demanding that the national party pay for a new election there.

Now maybe it's just me, but maybe Florida should just sit this one out, as a partial penance for 2000.

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 23:10:37 PST - Link

February 29, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Unidentified windowsill cat — Zermatt, Switzerland

Unidentified windowsill cat — Zermatt, Switzerland

Fri, 29 Feb 2008 08:45:23 PST - Link

February 28, 2008

11% is not a solution

Integrated oil and gas company Chevron replaced only about 11 percent of the oil and gas it produced in 2007, as its total reserves slipped about 7 percent year over year.

The company's net proved oil and gas reserves, including affiliate companies, fell to 10.77 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) at the end of 2007, down from 11.62 billion boe at the end of 2006. The company reported the figure in its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday.


Thu, 28 Feb 2008 16:35:58 PST - Link

Great Interview

Dave Winer has released an mp3 of his interview with George Lakoff of the Rockridege Institute.

It's really compelling listening, Lakoff clearly has some great points, and Dave lets him make them.

P.S. Don't be turned off by the behind-the-curtains tech stuff at the top, use it as a time to get comfortable with the levels and voices, so that you're settled in when the content starts to flow.

Thu, 28 Feb 2008 13:11:10 PST - Link

February 26, 2008

Swiss Coffee


Breakfast in Zermatt Switzerland, 2007.09.17

Apropos of nothing, here is one of the many images from Switzerland I've not found time to post.

Tue, 26 Feb 2008 08:41:21 PST - Link

February 22, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Tory James

Tory James.

Fri, 22 Feb 2008 08:56:06 PST - Link

Top 10 Reasons Joe Has Not Been Blogging Lately

#10 His home office has been torn apart for a week to remove the popcorn from the ceiling and give the walls a fresh coat of paint.

#9 He's dedicating all his free time to learning how to sing and play Jonathan Coulton's Code Monkey.

#8 He's crazy busy with a new project at work, which he can't talk about.

#7 He's busy brushing the tubes of the inturwebs to try find out what the Microsoft acquisition means to his Danger Stock. (It's not a life-changing event.)

#6 Two Words: Crab Month!

#5 He's busy working out the mathematical relationship between the total lunar eclipse and Oil reaching $100 per barrel.

#4 He's busy finishing Yellow. - [psych!]

#3 He's occupied finishing some very fine scotch he got for valentine's day.

#2 He's spending all his time on Crag's list looking for PA speakers.

#1 He's been busy working business deal with the daughter of a former Nigerian Official.

Fri, 22 Feb 2008 08:56:06 PST - Link

February 15, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Fence Kitteh

Unidentified Monorail Cat. Santa Clara, CA

Fri, 15 Feb 2008 08:18:40 PST - Link

February 13, 2008

Top Ten List Of Things That Will Happen To America If The Wrong Party Wins In November.

"Because we all know what will happen to America if the wrong party wins in November." — John McCain

This calls for a Top Ten list... (Drumroll)

#10: They will enact tax cuts to benefit the rich that will explode the budget deficit.

#9 They will form a secret enegry task force made up of oil executives who will make secret recommendations about where the secret oil is secretly hidden in Iraq. Secret.

#8 They will ignore presidential daily briefs entitled "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in U.S."

#7 They will restrict federal funding in stem cell research to "existing lines" (Which have been contaminated with mouse DNA — But a cure for cheese addiction is imminent)

#6 Their party leader will sit in a classroom reading "My Pet Goat" while the country is under attack.

#5 They will push though legislation restricting freedoms and begin illegal spying on the American Public.

#4 They will open detention centers outside the boundaries of the United States to prevent prisoners from having constitutional protections.

#3 They will make false claims about weapons of mass destruction in order to justify a war.

#2 They will execute said war without enough troops to prevent the country from devolving into civil war.

#1 Their leader will land on an aircraft carrier to declare "Mission Accomplished"

Crap. 10 is simply not enough. A few minutes with Google and you could easily make a similarly devastating top ten list about air quality, or family planning, or civil liberties, or economic justice, or public health, or education, or labor, or energy, or global warming, or corporate malfeasance, or food safety, or open government, or campaign finance, or the conduct of the Iraq war, or just about every act this administration has undertaken since stealing to 2000 election.

Nobody's perfect. Bush broke is non-stop streak of mendacity in 2002 when he gave Fred Rodgers the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an act I fully applaud and support. Of course Bush later tried to make up for it by giving the same medal to George Tenet.

Wed, 13 Feb 2008 08:05:57 PST - Link

February 11, 2008

Microsoft to buy phone maker Danger

Microsoft said on Monday that it is acquiring Danger, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based maker of the T-Mobile Sidekick for an undisclosed amount. T-Mobile Sidekick Slide

"The addition of Danger serves as a perfect complement to our existing software and services, and also strengthens our dedication to improving mobile experiences centered around individuals and what they like," Microsoft entertainment unit president Robbie Bach said in a statement.

C|Net News

That does it. I'm going Guitar shopping. To help the economy - yeah. That's it. The Economy. Or maybe a PA system. I've always wanted one.

Update: If anyone can tell me what my Danger shares are now worth, I'd be much obliged.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 08:31:48 PST - Link

February 8, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging


T-Chan (Photo by Wife)

Fri, 08 Feb 2008 08:37:43 PST - Link

February 5, 2008

I voted for Obama this morning. Here's why.

In a speech last year (before Hillary announced) Bill Clinton talked about how candidates campaign on "A" "B" and "C" but when they get in office they have to deal with "D" "E" and "F".

I turned 50 this year, and from I see three threats to civilization that are likely to affect the world in the rest of my time here on Earth:

- Population overshoot
- Global Climate Change
- Peak Oil

I can't exactly put them in order of global effect, but I know which one will hit first.

I've been watching the DVDs of the Houston ASPO (Association for the Study of Peak Oil) conference, and the evidence is overwhelming that this shite is going to hit the big fan (very hard) before the end of the term of the next president.

While I think Clinton would be up to the task, and were it a different time, I would vote for her in a heartbeat, yet - I think she is lacking in a quality that we're going to need.

We are going to need an inspirational kind of leadership to do the right things, even though they are hard, and more importantly to not do the obvious, easy, but wrong things.

We are going to need a president who can stand up and tell us that we'll need to sacrifice - for the greater good, and for the future. A president who will make us feel bigger as human beings, because there is more to life than being a good consumer.

I believe that President Is Barack Obama

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 10:23:21 PST - Link

February 1, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Tory and Miko

Tory and Miko in Red Office Chair — Photo by Wife

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 07:34:20 PST - Link

January 29, 2008

Clubbed by Growth

Exponential growth is the bedrock of our culture. Governments, central banks, and businesses maintain the economy must grow every year to remain healthy. But unending expansion goes against every law of nature. If an 18-year-old young man weighing 77.3 kilograms (170 pounds) were to increase his weight by only 2 per cent a year, by the time he reached age 53 he would weigh 154.6 kilograms (340 pounds), and be a ripe candidate for heart disease and diabetes.

Yet this is the kind of annual exponential growth that governments consider normal. Besides pushing our demands beyond the limits of the natural world, the authors say it widens the gap between rich and poor, because only the rich have pools of capital to invest. So their wealth grows exponentially and the poor lag increasingly behind.

What will bring society to collapse, the authors say, won't be exhaustion of the planet's stock of energy and raw materials. It will be the growing and insurmountable cost of exploiting them, plus the cost of dealing with the increasing waste and pollution it will cause.

The Star Toronto, Canada

It's hard to comment on a story like this. As an engineer, it's self-evident that you simply cannot have exponential growth in a resource limited world.

It's one thing to recognize this absolute truth in the abstract, but yet another to realize that these simple calculations will affect humanity, in you own lifetime.

Tue, 29 Jan 2008 08:46:24 PST - Link

January 28, 2008

SOTU Blogging

The writer's strike has really taken its toll on this one. It sounds like they cut and pasted the most forgettable parts from previous years.

Mon, 28 Jan 2008 18:50:28 PST - Link

January 25, 2008

Got Kakistocracy?

Kakistocracy Noun: Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens.

Fri, 25 Jan 2008 13:07:55 PST - Link

Friday Cat Blogging

CatzT-Chan and Miko in Red Office Chair. (Again.)

Fri, 25 Jan 2008 08:46:28 PST - Link

January 23, 2008

Lies, Damn Lies and 935 False Statements

President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.

Public Integrity

362 days of moving backwards left.

Wed, 23 Jan 2008 08:40:56 PST - Link

January 21, 2008

Tonight feels like the night before Katrina hit New Orleans.

World markets took it on the chin last night, and tonight the Nikkei is down another 4.88%.

Mon, 21 Jan 2008 20:56:32 PST - Link

January 20, 2008

Change for the Better

Exactly one year from now (366 days because it's a leap year, damnit!) we'll have a new president. Start out Bush's last year with a laugh from blip.tv.

- Link

January 18, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

The Boys

Slumber Party

Fri, 18 Jan 2008 08:10:43 PST - Link

January 17, 2008

Imprinting Again?

If they don't have a lot of additional oil to put on the market, it is hard to ask somebody to do something they may not be able to do.

— George W. Bush from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan 16, 2006

This might not seem such an extraordinary statement, after all, it's a simple truth. What set off alarm bells in my head was that when I read it I was reminded of this statement by Scott Ritter:

I understand the concept of "imprinting," and have seen it in action. What is clear from the president's remarks is that, far from an innocent rhetorical fumble, his words, and the context in which he employed them, are a clear indication of the imprinting which is taking place behind the scenes at the White House. If the president mentions World War III in the context of Iran's nuclear program, one can be certain that this is the very sort of discussion that is taking place in the Oval Office.

Ritter's comments were not specifically about oil, but the notion of imprinting applied here indicates that Bush was recently told by the Saudis that pumping more oil is "something they may not be able to do."

This is probably as close to an admission of peak oil by the Saudis or the Bush administration as we are likely to see before the presidential election.

Thu, 17 Jan 2008 07:56:16 PST - Link

January 13, 2008


The Wikkipedia entry for iambic pentameter is written in iambic pentameter.

So I looked up recursion. The page is still loading.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 17:24:25 PST - Link

January 11, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Miko, Tory

Miko and Tory.

Fri, 11 Jan 2008 07:40:07 PST - Link

January 9, 2008

Mixer Repairs

A couple of weeks back my Alesis USB-8 mixer blew a preamp, which caused it to make a loud hiss on channel 2.

I was able to quickly identify a well and truly blown 2SA970 transistor (It was marked A970 on the package) and a few minutes with Google found an online source. It's an inexpensive part at $0.18 each, and it looked interesting for future projects so I ordered 35 of them. Shipping and handling was $8.95, from Audio Lab of GA

Unfortunately, replacing the 2SA970 revealed that the companion transistor was blown as well. This time the component marking was much more cryptic: "1FW".

I performed the usual Google incantations with no effect, and remained stumped for over a week. Then one afternoon I was bemoaning my lack of a mixer to Sue at work, and she suggested looking for online collections of SMT markings. Bingo. I stumbled on www.tkb-4u.com which sorts parts by the 1st character of the SMT code.

I didn't find an "1FW" in the list, but there was a "1F-" for the BC847BW part from NXP (Priviously Philips Semi). A quick trip to digikey.com baged the data sheet, and sure enough, that "W" at the end was the country of origin code, which in my case was China. This time the parts were $0.09 each, or $0.048 at quantity 100. I bought 100, for $4.88 (It's a great general purpose part) and paid $11.90 for 3 day postage.

Anyway, replacing the transistor brought my mixer quietly back to life. Why am I telling you about this? Because it's a good way to document which parts I'll need to use if I have to to a future repair, (although I now have enough parts to make this particular repair 34 more times) and to help out other poor souls who may find themselves in a similar position.

BTW, In searching again for www.tkb-4u.com, I located several other great component marking reference sites:


P.S. I can also be talked into suppling these parts in unit quantities, send me a self addressed stamped envelope (two stamps because it's bulky) and a $1.00 bill, (Or a suitable sob or funny story, or a link to an .mp3 of a song you wrote an performed (for my personal listening pleasure only)) and I'll send you the pair.

Wed, 09 Jan 2008 09:09:28 PST - Link

January 4, 2008

A Signal Ignored

According to TheOilDrum.com , at some point enough oil will have been extracted that no matter how many more wells are drilled, overall production from the field will go into irreversible decline. And as field after field reaches this condition, the overall production of oil for the region will begin to fall. This happened to the United States in 1970 when oil production reached a peak. US production has since declined from a maximum of over 9.6 million barrels a day (mbd), to the current level of around 5 mbd. More recently, the oil fields of the North Sea, the Alaskan fields on the North Slope, and the huge Cantarell field in Mexico have entered irreversible decline.

PR Newswire

They're a pretty perceptive bunch over at TOD, and I think 2008 will be the year that Peak Oil is on the front page of every paper in the world.

The Wall Street Journal doesn't quite say the words "Peak Oil" in their excellent piece: Oil Hits $100, Jolting Markets but they will before December 31, 2008.

Fri, 04 Jan 2008 08:57:51 PST - Link

Friday Cat Blogging


Tory James (In Bathtub)

BTW, Tory endorses Senator Barack Obama

Fri, 04 Jan 2008 08:12:18 PST - Link

January 3, 2008

I Endorse John Edwards

Not that my endorsement really matters to anyone, but here's my reason for the endorsement:

The last two decades have seen a huge shift in power from the citizenry and their representatives to mega corporations and their interests. Year after year laws have been changed to grant large corporations a poisonous concentration of power in the areas of media ownership, personal privacy, and consumer rights, to name a few. They have used this power to thwart the wellbeing of the citizenry in the areas of health care, energy efficiency, consumer credit, and public transit — again, to name but a few, and that's not even counting their manipulation of the electoral process.

It is past time to roll back the power of corporations, and this cannot be done by a centrist candidate who has a 'go-along, get-along' attitude toward big business. This status-quo attitude will only lead in the near future to the end of net neutrality, the end of privacy protections, and the beginning of crippling DRM restrictions.

Edwards is the one candidate in either party who has stood out and shown the most backbone where it comes to standing up against big business. Hang in there, John, we need you.

Thu, 03 Jan 2008 13:07:20 PST - Link

Welcome to the second trading day of 2008.

For the second day in a row, Oil is trading at $100.00 / barrel.

Thu, 03 Jan 2008 08:39:18 PST - Link

January 2, 2008

Welcome to the first trading day of 2008.

Oil hit $100 on the NYMEX exchange for West Texas Intermediate the first time ever this morning.

Wed, 02 Jan 2008 10:16:04 PST - Link

January 1, 2008

No rapture for YOU.

Twenty-five percent of Americans believe it is at least somewhat likely that Jesus Christ will return to Earth in 2007, a new poll from the Associated Press and AOL News shows.

I blogged about this last January 1st.

There's no new survey, but I'm guessing that the same 25% have the same feelings about 2008.

Tue, 01 Jan 2008 11:49:46 PST - Link

No More Mr Nice Guy.

I've been holding back on posting a few things over the last couple of weeks, mostly because the holiday season is a time for family and getting in touch with what is really important.

Well, that ends today:

Now, unfortunately the whole point of the housing bubble was not really to put X-million people in so many vinyl and chipboard boxes, but rather to ramp up a suburban sprawl-building industry as a replacement for America's dwindling manufacturing economy. This stratagem ran into the implacable force of Peak Oil, which not only puts the schnitz on America's whole Happy Motoring / suburban nexus, but implies a pervasive trend for contraction in everything from the daily distances we can travel to the the very core idea of regular economic growth per se — at least in the way we have understood it through the age of industrial capital.

Forecast for 2008 — Jim Kunstler

There's loads more to the article, including a hilarious slam on Donald Trump.

I'm going to spend time with friends today. That's resolution number 1.

Tue, 01 Jan 2008 10:54:31 PST - Link

Happy New year

Here's wishing you and yours a happy and prosperous new year.

As is my habit, I've vanquished the previous entries to the history files, (over there on the left.)

Tue, 01 Jan 2008 10:22:36 PST - Link